(KFVS) - (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) -
Derek Gibson keeps things simple.
"I go up to the plate and try to hit the ball hard," Gibson said. "I'm not worried about where it goes or whether I get a hit or not, I think if you just stick to your approach and the process, the numbers take care of themselves in the end."
And so far they have. Gibson hit better than a .330 average each of the last two seasons, but the senior has raised the bar through 32 games this year. He's batting a ridiculous .417--12th best in the nation--while driving in 40 runs, good for 8th most in Division 1.
"Well Derek just keeps evolving," head coach Steve Bieser said. "On the offensive side he's really kind of going after it the way he went after it his sophomore year. He's right back in this year to driving the ball, hitting the gaps, driving in runs and that's the things we need out of our four-hole hitter."
His talent also helped on the football field, where Gibson was the Redhawks backup quarterback in 2010 when SEMO won the OVC title. But the duel-sport life became too demanding, and baseball beckoned.
"I was extremely blessed to have the opportunity to play both, but it was one of those things where they kind of took away from each other, and I had to pick one, so I think it was a good decision," Gibson said.
SEMO baseball fans would certainly say so, as the Bonne Terre native's talent and leadership have the Redhawks ready to capture their first conference title since 2002.
"As a senior, I try to come out every day and do the right thing, set an example for the younger guys in the program," he said. "But I think everybody sets a good example, I think we all do a small part in leading the team and doing the right things to win."
A simple approach that's led to skillful results.